By Dr. John White, DC
Vancouverites know winter can be long, tough and for some of us, depressing. Most of our conversations this time of year seem to revolve around the rain, short days and that Mexico vacation you’re taking to get away from the dreary Vancouver winter weather. Well this year I’m encouraging you to follow my lead and take a different approach. Get out and embrace winter!
I’m making a point to get to the mountains as much as possible to snowboard, snowshoe, zip trek or cross-country ski. Not only is it great entertainment, it also has me enthusiastic about the rain! (If it’s raining in Van, it’s snowing in the mountains). Since I’ve made this commitment several things have changed. Winter is cruising by at a dizzying pace, I’m no longer lusting over Mexico, and my conversations are more positive and focused on how beautiful this place is rather than how many days it is until Spring. To put it bluntly, I’m enjoying winter this year.
If you choose to follow my lead then I should take this time to warn you that these mountain activities do come with their consequences. By regularly engaging in these activities you will simultaneously elevate your mood, reduce depression, fend off diabetes, lower your blood pressure, strengthen your muscles, increase bone density (reducing your risk for osteoporosis), lower your body fat, lower your cholesterol, improve your self image and confidence. You will meet interesting people, gain meaningful experiences and have something to talk about at the water cooler on Monday. In fact the benefits of regular physical activities are too numerous to list.
My most recent adventure was a snowshoeing trip at Cypress. We rented snowshoes from Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) for $13, drove to cypress in 45 minutes and hiked for 3 hours. That's a pretty accessible adventure. Just be sure to call ahead to ensure MEC has snowshoes available as they tend to get rented out a day in advance. I hope to see you out there!